Lubrication: A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

A lock will usually last you a life time. Occasionally, with a great deal of use, parts might break. There are a lot of parts inside your lockset. Springs, clips, latches etc. Now, some of the Major Brands are cutting down on manufacturing costs by using less metal in their residential series. Parts that were once solid are now being made with a skeleton like appearance. Something tells me they are not as strong and durable as they used to be. Some are even inserting PLASTIC and NYLON parts where they once were metal. Most of the ‘store brand’ and ‘builder’ hardware manufacturers are NOT doing this however. Also,locks available for sale from your Locksmith are ‘generally’ a little better quality than what is available in the big box hardware stores.

Still, I have seen residential locks lasting 50 years and more. I have some old warded mortise-locks on some of my doors at home. They use a bit-key, what is commonly known as a ‘skeleton-key’. They will be 90 years old next year, and they still operate smoothly.

2011723600So, besides the “Lifetime Finish” meeting an early demise, the most common problem you might encounter, will most likely be a ‘sticky lock’.
When you purchase a new lockset from the hardware store, it comes packed with lithium grease as a lubricant. This will normally last for several years. Direct sunlight, freezing temperatures all serve to break this down and even harden the lithium. 5 or 10 years from purchase may require a fresh application of lithium to the interior of the handles.

You’ll probably want to call a Locksmith for this, since we know where the lithium grease should be applied.

BUT … there are some steps you can take yourself to keep your lock cylinders and latches operating smoothly.

1)Teflon Powder. This is the absolute best! Liquid sprays with Teflon in them are not the same thing though. Teflon actually bonds to the metal and offers some protection from oxidation too. It is rather expensive,and Teflon is poisonous. But it works.

2)WD-40. Really, regular ol’ WD-40. It is a “cleaning lubricant” you need very little of it. It takes a single small ‘burst’ in the key-way, or just spray some on the key itself. Stick the key in and turn the lock back and forth a few times, wipe off the key and you’re done. WD-40will clean out the lock and lubricate it, but it will also attract dirt too. So repeat this once about every 6 months or so.

3)Aero-Kroil is similar to WD-40, it is used when there is severe corrosion. It is hard to get as it is industrial, but a single can could last you for years.

WD-40 is probably the easiest and most available, almost everyone has a can somewhere around the house. A little dab’ll do ya!

Now, here are some things to NEVER DO.

1) Oil. There is actually an oil sold for locks. It should never be used.

3N1Years ago there were little picture icons on the can, a sewing machine, hinges and a padlock. Oil, as it ages and is subjected to temperature changes (especially heat) will eventually turn into a hard shellac-like substance. It turns gummy and can actually destroy your lock. I have had to soak antique locks in kerosene to remove the film and clean them. 2)Graphite. Well, graphite isn’t TOO terribly bad. But, here in Georgia, however, with the humidity, it tends to clump up inside the lock. Also, it’s the same material that pencil ‘leads’ are made of nowadays, the dust can leave marks on your door and be transferred from the lock to your hands or even your pockets. Some folks swear by it. I don’t recommend it though.


3)Improper Installation. This actually accelerates the corrosion process.
When your lock is upside down you now have the pins inside your lock sitting on top of the springs. Eventually they will compress the springs down until they no longer ‘spring’ back. Also, any moisture or grime which enters the lock will now fall into the pin-stack and cake up and cause even more corrosion and oxidation than would occur with a properly installed, right side up lock.

inside-lockWith many locks, you just need to remove the 2 screws holding it to the door and reverse the position. Some locks require you to also reverse the latch or the bolt too. There are some locks which require tools to reverse the lock. Your Locksmith will have these tools and the ability to do this for you. Also, make sure your lockset is screwed down tight on the door, little gaps created when your lock is loose allow water, dirt and even insects in.

As always, Ariel – Reliable Locksmith is available to you, either to perform the work for you, or to consult on the phone with you with good and tested advice.

Remember, call, even if you just have a question.



Tootin’ My Own Horn

I don’t really need to. But here are a few of the reviews I’ve gotten over the last year, I am proud of them, because it means that I have been doing my job. I am pleased that you are pleased, that you are satisfied. Thank you for all the kind words, they do mean the world to me. So from around the web, in no particular order……..

Amr E. Lawrenceville, GA

5.0 star rating

6/4/2014 First to Review

Great guy, super quick and honest. He came and unlock my house in five seconds for an amazing price

Keedai K. Lawrenceville, GA

5.0 star rating


He came within 5 minutes of getting off the phone with me. Great price and very friendly service!

Ron F, Braselton, GA

September 05, 2013

Everything went smoothly and quickly. Nothing more to tell. Great experience and I would not hesitate recommending him to anyone.

Virginia D, MIAMI, FL 33179

January 17, 2013

Excellent! Locked my keys in the car at the mall while visiting friends. Chris got here quick and got my car unlocked in just a few minutes. Honest & friendly. It was like 35 degrees and raining last night too, Very happy!

David M, Lawrenceville, GA

January 03, 2014

I got this through a —- coupon. My front door latch was sticking and Fritz came and quickly and professionally cleaned the mechanism and explained how to avoid the problem in the future. Very friendly and knowledgable

Morgan R, Lawrenceville, GA

December 30, 2013

Chris saved me at least $300! I have a Baldwin front door set that was broken. I was planning on just replacing it (it was originally around $300 about 5 years ago). Because of a promotional email from —– I decided to let Ariel Locksmith give it a try. While not able to actually fix the defective part, he informed me that Baldwin products have a life time warranty (didn’t know that), how to contact their customer service dept, location of the identification information they would need, and a description of the part that was n

eeded. As soon as Chris left, I called Baldwin and within 15 minutes the part was ordered at no cost to me (not even shipping). Chris also showed me how to install the new part when it arrives so I would not have to pay for another service call. You can’t beat that kind of honest service!

I was impressed with the appointment process, prompt communications, arrived on time, and diagnosed the problem in a matter of minutes. I highly recommend Ariel’s Locksmith!

deborah h duluth, GA

December 30, 2013

Willingly took the time (about 10 minutes) to walk me through unsticking the dead bolt and door locks on my front door. Willingly recommended using lubricant to ensure continued performance of both locks.

Very thorough. Was willing to make a house call today. Was not disappointed when I was able to get locks to respond and front door opened. Told me what to problems to look out for and recommended lubricate as a kind of maintenance. Very pleasant. I was very pleased and will definitely contact this company again and recommend this company to others.


October 19, 2013

Chris was prompt, professional and friendly. I would definitely use his services again.


February 18, 2014

Fitz came and retooled my front and back doors so I only had to use one key on all the locks. He was prompt and went right to work. He made sure my locks were installed properly and this made me feel safer.

Richard S, Newnan, GA

January 10, 2014

The services performed were for my Sister-in-Law’s house (In Lawrenceville). She has cancer and my wife is staying with her as care-giver. The three doors with two locks on each one used one key. Some locks were not being used because the key would not work. Ariel Reliable fixed all three doors and the one key works so smoothe in all locks. ast, professional and would recommend them to all.

Pat W, Duluth, GA

February 10, 2014

Simple small job, but still an outstanding value nonetheless! Took the time to talk to me and I learned a lot about locks. Highly recommended!

Glenda B, Duluth, GA

February 06, 2014

Removed a broken key from outside lock and repaired the internal lock mechanism. The locksmith was very prompt (he even got to the house before me). He was very professional and repaired the lock to my satisfaction. I will use his services when needed in the future.

pat w, Dacula, GA

January 16, 2014

Replaced and re-keyed broken deadbolt.

Prompt, professional and friendly. Excellent service. I highly recommend this company.


August 13, 2014

Rekeyed our front door. Excellent service. He arrived when he said he would and got right to work. He did the work quickly and was very polite.

Eileen P, Lawrenceville, GA

May 30, 2014

Re-keyed all locks (7) to our home. Installed new main entry lock and provided duplicate keys as requested. Owner of business responded promptly after initial contact. Went “above and beyond the call of duty” in stopping to pick up a part needed for the job. Professional, courteous, and priced more reasonably than I had expected. Would not hesitate to use this service again.


July 24, 2014

He changed the locks on my home. He is outstanding and deserves an A+. He’s very honest, professional, punctual, and took the time to answer all of my questions. He is the best locksmith I have worked with. I would highly recommend him, and use him again.

Michael D, Atlanta, GA

May 01, 2014

Excellent service/price! On time, very professional, good quality work.


February 11, 2014

Fixed a jamed lock/cylinder. Mr. Fitzpatrick came to my home on the eve of the snow/ice storm and repaired the lock on my storm door. I was so glad to see him as another locksmith bailed out due to the impending weather. He was knowledgeable, prompt and the service charge was very reasonable. I would definitely use this business again and recommend them to others.

Thank YOU Again,


Do Your Research

Internet Locksmith Scammers Getting The YOUR Big Bucks

C A FitzPatrick NRI CML

Different scamster “locksmiths” have different tactics. In a CBS Atlanta News investigation caught “Atlanta Solution Locksmith” in the act.
They found this scam artist’s strategy to lure in and ripoff customers. This company has registered THOUSANDS of different fraudulent “locksmith” names with different fake company websites that pretend to be in different locations, all over the internet.

The thousands of different local phone numbers displayed on each website are diverted to a central call center in Dunwoody. The websites are stuffed with keywords and backlinks to direct the unsuspecting public and their hard earned money to the owner

Asher Asaf Uziel.

All of the websites were registered in his own name. Most of the registrations have since been removed. He still has a facebook page in his name.

Tens of thousands of people have fallen victim to this web of deciet by not researching the company. Almost impossible to do when one is in a vulnerable position and needs help quickly. One of those victims in Midtown Atlanta is Hollie Holler. She didn’t know the company she hired, she just called the first thing that popped up on Google, resulting in being forced into paying a thief $232 to get her keys back.

“I was angry but there wasn’t anything I could do about it,” said Holler, who didn’t know the low rating of the locksmith she hired.

There are many more complaints according to the Atlanta Better Business Bureau.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection hired the company in the “urgent situation.” During the undercover operation, the quote given over the phone was $29 plus labor. They ended up being charged $113! My question is, since this was an official investigation, why weren’t Uziel and his ‘locksmith’ arrested? Why weren’t his office/call center and home raided, computers and bank accounts seized? He was only fined $111,897.40. The state got $100k of that, leaving a paltry $11,897.40 for the bilked customers (which they could find) to split up. By theft, Uziel drives a BMW and owns a house worth $1.3 MILLION. $100k is a small price to pay, there is no telling how much he has actually amassed with this fraud.When the news reporter approached him, he just ran off and hid – VIDEO

Sadly, more scammer locksmiths have established themselves around Atlanta and nationwide. These fake companies have damaged the reputation of legitimate locksmiths.
Burt Kolker, owner of a 45-year old locksmith company in Sandy Springs says his business is slowly losing and getting a bad reputation because these phonies have stolen his name. “I think I’ve lost 40 percent of my business,” he said. The biggest loser however is the public, with hundreds of millions of dollars stolen anually from the pockets of hard working Americans. Do your research BEFORE you need a locksmith. If you are locked out and they tell you a dollar figure AND UP or PLUS LABOR or the ‘technician’ determines the price. You are about to get ripped off.
Almost 80% of cars can be opened with a single tool and similar technique, another 8 or 9% can be opened with 2 more tools. I have about 47 or so tools to cover the last 12%. NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE YOUR CAR FIRST, for an auto lockout, the entire price should be given to you over the phone. Average price during daylight hours – is about $50.

What’s The Difference?

What Makes This Locksmith So Unique?

We are just one of a very small handful of LOCAL locksmiths here in Gwinnett County. The directories would have you believe that there are over 500 ‘locksmiths’ in Lawrenceville alone (there are only 8). So it’s very difficult for you, the consumer, to make a choice when you really need locksmith service.
When you call us, you speak directly with the locksmith, not a call center, and we’re serious when we say;

‘Call, even if you just have a question’,

We want to talk to you and we want you to not just feel comfortable, we want you to be satisfied that you re getting the real deal.
-Chris FitzPatrick Sr NRI CML

What’s in a Number? ( a phone number that is)

Checking Google the other morning using the search term “locksmith 30043” I came across 6 listings. The first was for Gwinnett Locks and Keys, a local locksmith just across highway 20 from me. They are legitimate. Unfortunately the other 5 were not. Here is what I found:

Lawrenceville Locksmith Guys
1541 Laurel River Trail
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

Avilon Lock Change & Rekey Service
1446 Calvin Davis Cir
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

Make a car key in Lawrenceville
335 Rosedown Way
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1736

All Around Car Key & Automotive Service
1107 Nickel Plate Ct
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1788

Aborn Lockouts Service
274 Russell Ridge Dr
Lawrenceville, GA
(770) 203-1732

You will notice that 3 of the phone numbers are exactly the same and the rest have the first 8 digits the same.
I found the same thing last December, there were over 70 different listings using 48 different phone numbers, all the numbers had the same first 8 digits and of course some of the numbers were reused. Some of them had 5 listings using the same phone numbers covering the entire N Metro area. I didn’t check to see how many there were this time, so I’m only using the first page of Google listings as an example.

A tactic of the scammer ‘locksmith’ is to spam the internet with multiple listings to increase the chances of the unsuspecting public calling them so they can rob you. In the example above, Google returned 6 total listings, A – F.  5 of these listings were fraudulent and all 5  connected to the same scamster company which is most likely out of state. This is inferred by the fraudulent reviewers activity. There are actually more than 20 connected to this single out of state company in the surrounding cities, but we are focusing just on Lawrenceville for now.

Having the same and similar phone numbers means the scammer has purchased a bank of local phone numbers. This accomplishes 4 things:

  • 1)to make you believe that each number is a different company, giving the illusion of choice.

  • 2) to spam the listings so legitimate and honest locksmiths won’t be found.

  • 3) to make you believe they are local so you won’t have to wait. And finally…

  • 4) the ultimate goal is to steal from you.

Additionally, each listing had a single fraudulent 5 review. The reviews were posted under some obviously false names; Mccaffery Myler, Bowman Arvidson , Lowrey Stutes , Mercurio Sunseri and Korhonen Hargrove. Clicking on these names will take you to the Google+ review pages associated with the false names. All but one have posted 10 separate 5  reviews for fake locksmiths in 4 different states! The odd one out only posted 9.

There is a concerted effort afoot to steal as much money as can be bullied out of you – So, when you are searching Google for your locksmith and you see a good Google review, check out the reviewer, check the other listings for similar phone numbers. You will save yourself a lot of heartache and more importantly, your hard earned cash.

Please do your research, find your locksmith BEFORE you need him or her.

There is no such thing as a $15 locksmith

Every time you search for a locksmith on Google you will be hit with ads at the top of your results claiming to be $15 Locksmiths.

There ain’t no such animal.

There is a 1 in 5 chance that you might get a real locksmith, in some cities it is even worse less than a 5% chance. One way they trick you is to advertise a price of $15. Unfortunately after they arrive and give you the actual (always several times over the legitimate market rate) price, you are told that the $15 is “Just for coming out” and you find the way want $150, $180 OR MORE! To do a simple unlock job. The fact is, no one could survive on $15 service call. In every case I’ve seen, NO legitimate locksmith will charge a service call to unlock your car, home or shop, if it’s a local call. The exceptions being if it’s 3 0’clock in the morning or something like that. Or you are very far away. But even here, a legitimate locksmith will charge between $45 – $75 on average for a lockout. If you are truly far away, the real locksmiths have friends in your area and most likely will refer you to them anyway.

Fraudulent *locksmiths* are like ghosts, in and out with as much money as they can get. They first have to trick you though.

The BIG THREE fishing lures of the scammer are :



15% OFF

1.) No one can stay in business and only charge $15, they would go broke and have to close down in short order.

2.) No one can consistently off 15 minute service, it’s impossible. Even the pizza companies have given up on the “30 minutes or it’s free” they used to offer in the old days. Different times of day, road construction, etc -the traffic is always different. Since most of the scammers aren’t even local anyway, they are sure to be MUCH longer than 15 minutes anyhow.

3.) Here’s the thing; if you offer EVERYBODY 15% off, ALL the time, then the actual price is 15% lower, so it’s not really 15% off at all, it’s the REGULAR price.

They are literally going to charge you a much a they can possibly bully and intimidate you in to paying anyway, so in any case, it’s just another lie to steal from you.

Glad to meet my neighbors,

C. A. “Fitz” FitzPatrick Sr

NRI Certified Master Locksmith


Locksmith Scam Info in FREE E-Book

Consumers Warned of Locksmith Scam
Consumers in the North Georgia are warned to beware of individuals posing as locksmith who perform unnecessary work or charge exorbitant un-locking fees. The warning has been issued for Atlanta and surrounding counties area.This scheme entices locked-out consumers with large Yellow Pages ads and multiple Google Maps listings that give the impression you are calling a local business. These companies manipulate listings with multiple false addresses and phone numbers to make them seem like a neighborhood businesses. In actuality, the victims frequently are calling out-of-state operations that are not locksmith companies at all. The consumer is quoted a reasonable price over the phone, but when a person posing as a locksmith finishes the job, the victim is charged a considerable amount more for unnecessary and sub-standard work.”


The book is available here For FREE –